From Straight Lines to Triple Corks – Part 3

The good people of the World snowboarding tour are back with yet another chapter of snowboarding’s sweet history. They obviously felt that a generation of young shredders was emerging with no understanding of the hurdles these old punks hurdled to get us to where we are now. And they’re jolly well going to sit us down and school us on what we missed, with a history lesson every week to fill the void of ignorance in our vacant young brains. Open your books at chapter three, class, entitled Jim Rippey to Steffan Gimpl. Buckle up for the raddest history lesson you’ve ever had. Fingers crossed they’ll eventually uncover the secrets to untangling the maze that is WST points system. For now, be content with the first flip with a spin and the creation of the X Games. And – as if that might not be enough for one edit – girls too! Doing sweet jumps. And spins. Wowzers.

Ever get tired of old dudes saying snowboarding was rock-and-roll-er before you were born? Such words are usually dismissable as insta-filtered sepia nostalgic moaners remembering when their bones didn’t ache. They came from an age where it was feasible to be riding at a level that was still on the same richter scale as the guys winning the medals and gracing the cover Onboard. Surely the simple fact that our toes are warmer and our hands drier now than your dad’s were ‘in the good old nineties’ must be directly proportional to us having more of a laugh. Charlie sheen’s not the only one winning right now. No doubt sliding sideways must have tasted sweeter knowing that cranky old skiers hated you for lowering the tone of their snobby resorts – never a kid has lived who didn’t love to buck the system. But just because people were just winging it over sketchy kickers on shapeless planks with bodge job home school bindings and out the sides of lumpy ditches doesn’t mean any of us would trade decades.

On the other hand, it’s hard to conceive the level of wonder in the minds of the kids when the first inverts got landed, or the rumpus that the Nagano olympics caused. Double mac 12s were kind of amazing in Vancouver for all of half an afternoon, and Horgmo’s X Games triple in 2011 must have caused a roar almost audible on the other side of Aspen. But the first back flip to fakie would have embedded itself into peoples’ minds for months if not years, and every time those dudes were in the air people really didn’t know what else could be done. Or even on what axis to do it. And nowadays, with our highbacks and superpipes and our youthful arrogance we all didn’t just assume someone would do a double eventually, we knew it. It was just a race to see who nailed it first. But these contests now appear to go down on an entirely different planet from the real world, way more than an arm’s reach from the wildest dreams of ninety nine per cent of us. So perhaps it’s vaguely possible contests were sicker way back when snowboarders were rockstars getting the FIS in a twist for failing drug tests and the wild after parties and the trashed hotel rooms. These athletic types with their yoga and their private half pipes and foam pits might be stomping triples under some particularly fancy lights whilst deafened by awfully grimy drums and basses, but how many pulses does that raise?


If you missed lessons 1 and 2, check them here

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